The Duties and Responsibilities of a 457(b) or 401(a) Plan Administrator

By Jeff Chang

A surprisingly large number of public employees accept appointment as the plan administrator, or a member of the administrative committee, for their agency’s 457(b) or 401(a) plan. An explanation of the typical duties and responsibilities of a plan administrator should help agencies and their staff better match available staff with the demands of the position.

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Tips On Selecting a Retirement Plan Adviser When You Can’t Meet Them in Person

By Jeff Chang

Over the past several months, we have seen a number of public agency clients struggle through the process of evaluating and selecting a retirement plan adviser based only on generic questionnaires, a few phone calls, and an occasional video conference. It’s hard to choose a “trusted adviser” without meeting them face to face.

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Take Your Pick – Employees Allowed to Choose Between Future 401(a) Plan Contributions and Future HRA Contributions

By Jeff Chang

A recently issued IRS private letter ruling may provide public agencies and their employees with another way to give employees more control over the types of retirement benefits they will eventually receive.

As we previously reported, governmental employers can provide their employees with the benefits of tax-free reimbursements from a health expense reimbursement arrangement. However, HRAs only can be funded with employer contributions – employees cannot make salary reduction contributions. Governmental employers also can make pre-tax retirement contributions to either a 457(b) plan or a 401(a) plan, but, because governmental employers generally cannot maintain 401(k) plans, employee pre-tax elective contributions generally must be made to a 457(b) plan with its lower contribution limits, not to a 401(a) plan.

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The Differences Between Bundled and Unbundled Retirement Plan Servicing Arrangements

By Jeff Chang

When it comes to retirement plan servicing arrangements for most public agencies, there are basically two flavors: bundled and unbundled. It is important for public plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries to understand the differences between these arrangements so they can ensure that their plans and plan participants are being serviced appropriately. Continue reading

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